On the 1939 Chevrolet, you said you put highway gears in, did you use the original housing? If yes, how did you do it?

Thanks, Victor

Hello Victor,

We actually used the 1940 rear end and adapted the 39 drive line to that because we had a set of NOS gears for the 40. I recall a little machine work to make it happen with the drive line.

It may be possible to use an aftermarket, early replacement universal joint rear half with the original front half in order to couple the 40 driveline. I know that works for the trucks. Some of the better quality joints won't work because they were the needle bearing style, instead of the early style, solid bearing type. Finding gears is the hard part. I don't know if there are any new gear manufacturers. Sometimes those are noisy and inferior quality. I installed a Borg Warner Overdrive in my truck. It works very well. That requires a lot more machine work and engineering. I have another case and extra gear set for the OD.

There are some options for you to think about if any of that interests you. I think I have one of the universal joints that I spoke of earlier too.

Thanks for asking, Doug

1937 Chevrolet Log Truck

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1931 Bentley 8 Litre Sedan 1929 Isotta Fraschini

Classic Car Restoration on cars like the 1931 Bentley 8 Litre Sedan and the Isotta Fraschini was going strong in the 1980s and 1990s.

I was working with Walt Johnsen back then and these two particular cars were among those that we restored. His business was "The Auto Shop" on Bainbridge Island, Washington. The 1931 8 Litre Bentley was a complete restoration that we did. Terry Foss was apprenticing with us at the time.

Dave Loeington did the Mechanical and wiring, Dave had to manufacture a lot of the components to get this car up and running in the fashion that Bentleys are known for.

Don Volgosang took care of the bright work and chrome trim,

Kirk Person who was the best of the best in his trade, did the Upholstery. He was an all around, nice, easy going guy. It was a tremendous loss to the car community when he passed.

The Isotta Fraschini was more of a cosmetic, or body restoration in "The Auto Shop". I did make a new fuel tank for the car, in the original fashion, with the leaded seams etc. The 1929 Isotta-Fraschini is a Tipo 8A with limousine bodywork by Castagna of Milan. The marque and the coachbuilder were a great combination among European luxury cars. This is one of the very few Isotta-Fraschinis to have come to the United State in the 30s. The Tipo 8A's massive straight-eight, displacing 7,370cc, was just under 450 cubic inches and produced 110hp.

Both of these cars were owned by Al McEwan and Dick Hooper of Seattle area. They have both subsequently been sold. Jay Leno purchased the 1931 8 Litre Bently and the Isotta Fraschini went to Mort Bullock, pictured here from left to right, Al, Mort, And Dick, standing in front of the Isotta Fraschini.

We didn't have many pictures of the Bentley 8 Litre, but this one is interesting in that it shows the turnbuckle system on the bottom of the frame. Over time a large car like this would tend to sag from all the weight. This system would correct sag. The top was covered with leather that had to come from a very large bovine.

Here is a picture of the Bentley in Suite 200 in Kirkland before Jay Leno took ownership.

1957 Chevrolet Belair Fuel Injected, Restoration

1957 Chevrolet Fuel Injected Belair original matching numbers cars are few and far between. Because this car is a complete original fuelie, it was worthy of an extensive, first class restoration. Being an original black car makes it even more desirable, but being black, requires special talent in both sheet metal work and final finish.

Walt Johnsen and I worked together back in the late 80's and early 90's, when we were restoring Classic Cars and showing them in the west coast Concours d' Elegance events at Pebble Beach and Forest Grove, consistently receiving "Best in Class" awards and in 93 had the Murphy Bodied Duesenberg that was very close runner up for "Best of Show" at Pebble Beach.

The two of us have always complimented each others exception talents and abilities. Walt is the best re finisher that I know. I have been in the automotive body and restoration business for over 45 years, just to put my comment into perspective. Walt has a keen eye for attention to detail, and again it shows in his completed 1957 Fuel Injected Belair.